Monday, May 14, 2012


Day by day we are given the opportunity to make choices that will add up to be the sum total of our character.  What we are when we are old is a collection of those choices we have made.  We become a distilled version of ourselves, of our choices as we near the end of our lives.

One aspect of our character comes from making choices toward discretion or simple-mindedness.  Proverbs 22:3 says, “The prudent man sees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished with suffering.”   One translation identifies the prudent man as a man of discretion.

Discretion[1] is:

a)     the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation

b)     cautious reserve in speech 

c)      prudence

d)     the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information

e)     the result of separating or distinguishing  (right from wrong, good from bad, beneficial from foolhardy, etc.)

The opposite would be not thinking before your speak; saying everything that goes through your mind; choosing the quick and convenient as opposed to the better though slower option.  Choosing to blindly trust someone we don’t know would be a lack of discretion.  Not being able to keep a confidence or being a gossip would also be a lack of discretion.

Proverbs 11:22 says a pretty woman without discretion is like a gold ring in the snout of a pig.  Wow!  How easy it is to find a foolish, silly and shallow woman these days.  Some act blindly, choosing foolishly, then wonder why things are going badly. 

But a woman with discretion – in speech, in personal management, in business affairs?  Those are rare indeed.  This kind of woman is beautiful and successful in a much deeper and lasting way.

We should always be seeking to grow in wisdom.  We can ponder what we know about people, and learn to observe human behavior and personalities in order to better understand what people are truly like.  We can think ahead, considering consequences before we step forward into commitments.

I like the idea of “savvy” women, women who think and then act accordingly.  In the course of directing your future, begin with your life today.  Choose wisely, think ahead, be a woman of discretion.

[1] Free Merriam-Webster dictionary online.

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